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Dr. Venkatesan Receives Department of Energy Grant to Test Novel Technology to Remove Emerging Contaminants


Dr. Arjun Venkatesan, Associate Director at Center for Clean Water Technology (CCWT) and doeAdjunct Professor in Civil Engineering, in collaboration with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has been recommended for an award of $281,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2019 Accelerator Stewardship Program. The Stewardship program is a highly competitive grant that received requests exceeding four times the available funding this year. The proposal team, led by Dr. Venkatesan, aims to test a novel electron beam (e-beam) accelerator technology to remove persistent and emerging contaminants including perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and 1,4-dioxane from contaminated drinking water.

The NYS recently adopted maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) at 10 parts-per-trillion, and for 1,4-dioxane at 1 parts-per-billion ( Existing technologies, such as granular activated carbon (GAC) filters and reverse osmosis (RO) systems do not degrade PFAS, but rather concentrate them either by adsorption (GAC) or membrane rejection (RO). The proposed e-beam accelerator technology can provide opportunities to completely degrade these persistent and toxic chemicals from contaminated waters, and additionally may be utilized to treat concentrated process flows resulting from other water treatment applications (e.g. RO rejects).

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E-Beam Accelerator located at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory